Anti-British bias at “In Flanders Fields”?

This post has been provocatively titled to see if anyone else shares my confusion as to exactly what impression the people behind the “In Flanders Fields” museum in Ypres are trying to put across. While the new format is a distinct step up from the previous message-heavy style – albeit that I still think that exhibit labels might be an idea worth considering – I really do not understand why having “finished” the museum tour you find the following exhibits sidelined in the restaurant area.

In some display cases at the bottom of the stairs are some very impressive and personal memento’s of the senior British commanders of the BEF.

A label, signed by Haig which was attached to the wreath he laid at the inauguration of the Menin Gate on 24 July 1927.

A signed portrait of Haig.

Haig’s spirit burner that Dorothy had insisted he take to the front.

A signed portrait of Sir John French.

Plumer’s Field Marshal’s cap.

A signed portrait of Plumer.

HRH Prince Maurice of Battenberg’s sword, left with the owner of the estaminet where the 1st Battalion, 60th Rifles had billeted on 22nd August 1914.

Why are these important exhibits not included in the main exhibition area and consigned to what is effectively a corridor used by people leaving the museum? If anyone can dispel my view that this is more than poor decision making – I would be pleased to hear it.

2 thoughts on “Anti-British bias at “In Flanders Fields”?

  1. Could it be a case of the “Best is saved till last”. The portraits are of men who would have been seen as the “saviours” of Belgium. French leading the B.E.F to stop Belgium falling to the Germans. Plumer the man who held the Salient and Haig the man much vilified but who ultimately brought Victory and restored Belgiums borders. Generally the last thing you see is first in you mind.

    • Lee – a nice idea but I am afraid it doesn’t work for me. You have quite clearly left the main museum floor and come down to the entrance level to enter the cafe – and the display case is up against a wall opposite the bottom of the stairs. It looks & feels like an afterthought and to be honest would be better displayed in another building if IFF don’t want it there.

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